A PERIOD FOR REFLECTION BEFORE THE RUN UP TO NOVEMBER’S BOARD MEETING
Editorial TeamArticle Type:
Article Number: 1
A new way of providing development assistance? And is global HIV leadership doing enough?
ABSTRACT This GFO editorial notes the calm before storm, the storm being the lead up to the upcoming Board meetings in November. We look at the disppaointing results of the Seventh Replenishment not meeting its target (even though it deserves kudos for raising more money in one go than ever before), a new more inclusive way of dispensing development aid, a positive evaluation of the Global Fund model and the results of an audit of the Global Fund’s online procurement platform - among others!
For this issue we had the relative luxury of being able to provide you with more thoughtful pieces as we reflect on a number of issues that resonate for the Global Fund’s work.
The first article (Doing more with less: what are the implications for meeting global disease targets?) looks at the fact that the three diseases are in worse shape than prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and that international events pose a continuing threat: but the funds to sustain national responses are less than hoped for. The Global Fund and partnership disappointment in failing to meet its Investment Case targets has implications for the forthcoming cycle of funding request applications starting in 2023 and means that the Global Fud will be expecting countries to do more with less .
Our second article describes the comparatively new approach to international overseas development assistance, Global Public Investment. Somewhat frustratingly this concept, which has been developed over the past few years, sounds like a plan for a more inclusive and less patronising way forward but is short on actual details of how it could be operationalised.
Then we move onto a summary of an assessment of the Global Fund’s performance by its peers. The Multilateral Organisation Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN) provides one of the most rigorous reviews for multilateral organizations. The findings are satisfactory (Global Fund “vital for strong global public health results”, says international review ) but the review also finds areas where more work is needed. Of course, some of the concerns of the review are being addressed under the new Strategy, including the need for a more robust evaluation function, better attention to health systems strengthening, and pandemic preparedness and response.
However, while the MOPAN report did not address this per se, we at Aidspan would like to raise our concerns about the issue of transparency, or lack of it. We have, in several articles and Editorials over the past year, bemoaned the loss of transparency that the Global Fund used to have through more widely sharing various documents (Committee and Board papers, programmatic data and documents, and so on). And, at the risk of sounding like a record on repeat play, we will continue to make noises about this until the Global Fund starts to listen and react positively!
We move on to a review of an Office of the Inspector General (OIG) audit of the Global Fund’s online procurement platform, wambo.org (Audit of the Global Fund’s online procurement platform reveals inherent limitations) . This is an important audit, given that the largest proportion of Global Fund Investments are in health products and commodities.
Our final article is a follow up by Professor Alan Whiteside to a previous article he wrote in GFO 419 on the need to rethink the global AIDS response (Understanding the environment: Global AIDS Responses ). Unsurprisingly, in the few weeks since the last article, the global context has not improved and in many case worsened. Alan feels the size of the threat to the global HIV response cannot be underestimated and provides a few suggestions for how we as individuals can bring about change.
Finally, we’d like to draw your attention to the fact that in late 2022/early 2023 November the World Bank’s Fiduciary Intermediary Fund for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (FIF PPR) will issue its first calls for proposals. More information including funding principles and eligibility can be found on https://www.worldbank.org/en/programs/financial-intermediary-fund-for-pandemic-prevention-preparedness-and-response-ppr-fif/funding-opportunities. Our last article describes what you can expect from this Call for Proposals .
We have also received some feedback on an article we published on the Breaking Down Barriers programme report in GFO 419. Our reader found the BDB mid-term review report itself quite misleading as it implied that the figures/scores given were measures of actual progress (e.g., in service access or reduction of stigma). This assumption carries through to the GFO article (for example, the statement “Breaking Down Barriers has enabled all recipient countries to make “considerable progress” in health care access for KPs affected by HIV and TB. “). Unfortunately, the assessed scores that were given for each country do not refer to actual progress at all; they only refer to the extent to which a given human rights activity category was budgeted (not even implemented). From our reader’s reading of the BDB report it is a long way from demonstrating the impact that is implied in the Global Fund press release or the report headlines…It would be interesting to know what other readers think about this.
Thank you for your feedback; and keep it coming.
As ever, Aidspan and our editorial team, under the leadership of Ida Hakizinka, does its best to ensure the accuracy of data and statements in our published articles ― and hence our inclusion of hyperlinks ― but if you, the reader, identify an error or important omission, please notify us and provide us with your data source; and we shall be happy to publish a correction or amendment.
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The Aidspan Editorial Team